Schizoaffective disorder is quite common among people. The disorder is hard to distinguish as it shows signs and symptoms quite similar to schizophrenia.

It includes a mix of the symptoms of psychosis including hallucinations or delusions, bipolar disorder, and depression. Schizoaffective disorder stays lifelong with a person. While there is no particular cure for this disorder, symptoms of the same can be controlled with proper treatment.

What is Schizoaffective Disorder?

Schizoaffective disorder is a mental condition that comprises psychotic symptoms along with big mood changing episodes. 

The psychotic symptoms involve delusions and hallucinations along with mood disorders like a depressive or anxious mood. The episodes can be short or last long, but the person soon comes to their normal senses. The effect completely depends on the person.

“Family therapies have been proven as a great way to help a person with a mental condition”

If the schizoaffective disorder is left coarse, it may lead to problems in functioning with normal life activities. People with this disorder may start needing assistance and help of others with daily functioning.

Types of Schizoaffective Disorder

Schizoaffective disorder is further classified into two types. Both of these types include symptoms similar to schizophrenia. The types are:

  • Bipolar Type: This type causes episodes of severe depression accompanied by mania.
  • Depressive type:This type includes only major depressive episodes and no other symptoms. 

Signs and Symptoms of Schizoaffective Disorder

The symptoms ofschizoaffective disorder primarily depend on the type of problem a person is suffering from. However, schizoaffective symptoms include:

  • Delusions: The person may form false beliefs. These beliefs have no evidence of reality and are only in the person’s mind.
  • Hallucinations: The person may see, hear, or feel things that do not exist in reality.
  • Disorganized speech: The patient may be incoherent. Their speech may not be organized. It is because they find it arduous to collect thoughts or link situations.
  • Depression: The person may feel depressed and feel empty most of the time. Feelings of hopelessness and being worthless may surround a person.
  • Appetite changes: The person’s appetite and eating habits may change. They may either eat too much or eat nothing at all.
  • Improper sleeping schedule: The person with schizoaffective disorder may sleep too much or won’t sleep at all. It can cause colossal changes in one’s sleeping pattern.
  • Social isolation: The person might not feel confident enough to attend social gatherings or office meetings. Such people isolate themselves and prefer staying at home. It does not let them create friends.
  • Racing thoughts: A person with schizoaffective disorder may encounter episodes where thoughts run in their minds. The person overthinks all the situations.
Schizoaffective disorder prognosis

Schizoaffective Disorder Prognosis

The diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder starts with finding the root cause of the problem. Any previous medical condition should be checked that could have led one to the mood changes or depression.

If any medical condition or contributing factors are not found, then the doctors may consider it a mental illness. The doctor might run some tests to evaluate the kind of disorder or the stage of the disorder.

 “Even if you are diagnosed with the disorder, you don’t have to worry, just trust your treatment”

The diagnosis has to be very precise, as most mental health conditions show similar symptoms. Once the disorder is detected, the treatment starts without wasting any time.

Treatment of the Schizoaffective Disorder

The treatment ofschizoaffective disorder is conveniently available. The untreated mental condition can cause a lot of problems in the future. People may start experiencing disorder episodes to an extent, that it becomes difficult for them to even perform their routine activities. 

Some treatments of the disorder are:

  • Medications

Antipsychotic medications are prescribed by the doctors for the treatment of schizoaffective disorder. These pills reduce symptoms to a large extent. The person’s quality of life improves, and he/she can do daily activities without glitches. The type of medication depends on the person and the kind of disorder they are having.

  • Psychotherapy

Regular therapy sessions are provided to people with this disorder. These sessions work to help the person overcome their fears. They also impart positive thoughts and feelings in a person. These therapies work in areas where even medications do not work.

  • Rehabilitation

This treatment involves patients who want to learn a new lifestyle out of the disease. The person admitted to rehabilitation learns the skills required to live with the disorder.

  • Family therapy

Family therapies have been proven as a great way to help a person with a mental condition. The design of the therapy is to teach the family about the disorder. 

The family also learns how to treat the affected person. It helps both the family and the patient to live a life with understanding and cooperation.

Conclusion

No matter what the medical condition is, the treatment of all problems is easily accessible. People with any sort of symptoms should get themselves checked at the earliest. Early treatment will always give better results. Even if you are diagnosed with the disorder, you don’t have to worry, just trust your treatment. 

Avani Patel
Author

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